Today I have been sitting in reflection with rhodochrosite (the January crystal of the month) and the essence of love.

I’ve been considering both the beauty and the challenge of this ‘many splendored thing’ . . . considering both the moments and experiences when it is easy to love and it flows through every breath as well as those times when my capacity to love feels challenged.

I think if we are really real with ourselves, we can relate to this multifaceted experience of love.

As I sat down with a strand of rhodochrosite, it invited me to put on a bit of rose essential oil and and to reflect upon how a blooming rose also has a stem filled with thorns.

Part of allowing ourselves to bloom with a loving heart is allowing ourselves to be fully present with the emotions represented by the thorns.

Consider the more uncomfortable experiences of your day to day life. Challenging conversations. Difficult moments. Unexpected changes. Painful losses. Disruptive news.

These experiences stir our emotions. They invite us to feel, deeply. The challenge is that our deeper emotions are not always the most favorable emotions so we attempt to shut them down and tuck them away.

Today, as I sat Rhodochrosite (and my own uncomfortable emotions), it suggested that when we allow ourselves to be present with the discomfort of our emotions and allow them to flow, we discover connection rather than separation . . . and this is the pathway to loving courageously, loving compassionately, and loving unconditionally.